Builder claims it owns land on which Mahakali caves stand, wants construction rights

A Mumbai-based construction firm has staked ownership of the land on which the ancient rock-cut Mahakali Caves stand.

Documents show that Motion Pictures Private Limited (MPPL), an associate of construction major DB Realty, has approached the Shiv Sena-controlled Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) with this rather unusual claim.

While no development is permissible in and around 200-metres periphery of the protected site, the firm has sought the BMC’s permission to lift development rights for the cave land in the form of transferable development rights (TDR), which can then be sold or loaded for use on any property with the Mumbai municipal corporation’s limit.

For the time being, the BMC is maintaining that the developer’s proposal is not admissible.

Having rejected the developer’s claim in the past, documents also reveal that the BMC’s development plan (DP) department, on November 6, 2020, forwarded the matter to the civic law department after the developer pointed to an ongoing writ petition in the Bombay High Court in this regard.

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